Old Cowtown Museum
Date: 19 March 2022 Type: Museum
Location Title: Old Cowtown Museum
City/State: Wichita, KS
Investigation Times: 07:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Sunrise: 06:37 AM Sunset: 07:42 PM
High Temperature: 70 °F Low Temperature: 27 °F
Sky Condition: Clear Wind: S at 5 mph
Humidity: 41% Precipitation: 0 in
Lunar Phase: Waning Gibbous % disk visible: 97.7%
Solar X-Rays: Normal Geomagnetic Field: Unsettled
Pressure: 28.68 mmHg
A. Crowe (Guest)
Photo by Becky
As Becky, Christina, and Edward left the Hodge House, Edward picked up this EVP that seems to say, "Hello."
submitted by Edward
While walking into the barn, Edward's recorder picked up a strange almost artificial-sounding voice.
submitted by Edward
Edward picked up an EVP that seemed to be coming from the barn area while Becky was doing a “soup call.”
submitted by Edward
Possible whispering during our investigation of the Empire House Theatre.
submitted by Edward
Possible wimpering during our investigation of the Empire House Theatre.
submitted by Edward
Sarah, Lead Investigator:
We Arrived at the Old Cowtown museum at about 7:00 PM. After parking our cars in front of the Saloon, Sarah led the group around Cowtown, sharing which buildings have reports based on the stories shared by the director of Cowtown, the Wichita Paranormal Research Society, and from the Wichita Haunts book. Fourteen buildings seemed to have the most consistent reports. These were the First Presbyterian Church ( also a former catholic church, most recently the Hodge boarding house), a building called "Story and a Half," the Murdock House, the Hodge House, the Munger House, the Trappers Cabin, Gills Mortuary, the Drug Store, the Jail, the Black Smith shop, the Empire House (originally Sutton General Store), the Smith House/DeVore Farm, the Depot, and the Hotel. We used the Saloon as our base.
At 7:27 PM, while inside the Murdock Home during our walk-through, Christina and Edward commented that they thought they heard footsteps upstairs almost as soon as we walked in. While continuing to talk about the activity reported by others there, several of us heard footsteps upstairs again.
Once we got back to the Saloon, we got the equipment ready and set up the equipment we wanted to leave running throughout the night. We split into two groups Becky, Edward, and Christina in one. And Jennifer, Greg, Aisling, and Sarah in the other. Becky, Edward, and Christina investigated the Devore Farm and Smith Family home while the other group set up equipment to run in the residential section throughout the evening.
Sarah placed a trap camera on the street opposite the Drug store, pointing towards the residential area. At the other end of that street, Jennifer had one pointing back towards the Trappers Cabin and Munger House. Sarah placed a small clip-on body cam in the Murdock house, pointing towards the table where I left a motion-activated ball, a doll, and later a digital recorder. I thought I heard footsteps upstairs again while Greg was setting up a camera in the Murdock house. Greg set up a DVR camera inside the Murdock house and one camera outside the house pointing up to the window where people report seeing a girl, and inside the Hodge house, pointing from the front door area towards the back rooms. Becky carried a handheld thermal camera throughout the night to check for wildlife.
There were three buildings that our Team seemed to have the most personal experiences in the Hodge House, the Smith Farm House on the Devore Farm, and The Empire Hall.
The Hodge House
While the group of Greg, Jennifer, and Sarah finished setting equipment in and around the Murdock house, Aisling went into the Hodge House with a digital camcorder. While there, she heard what she described as a boy shouting, "Mom." She came outside and asked if the rest of us had heard it, but we hadn't. Some dogs were barking in the distance. Her video recording did not pick up what she heard.
The rest of the group joined her there. Sarah and Jennifer heard some noises coming from the back area, and Jennifer felt like her left arm was getting cold in one area. The coldness seemed to be under her sweatshirt. Temperature readings were taken, but they didn't pick up any temperature change.
The other group of Becky, Christina, and Edward visited the Hodge House later. Christina and Becky heard what sounded like an animal running across the roof, followed by the front door, which was latched behind them, popping back open. They moved from the front room to the kitchen by the bedroom, and while standing there, Becky heard a similar sound, only slower, coming from outside the back door.
Becky began talking to Wesley Hodge, speaking directly to him and addressing him as Wesley. She complimented him on what a fantastic home he had built, mentioning what a great carpenter he must be since the house was still very sound and in excellent condition. Following this, Edward heard a male voice but could not make out what was said. As Becky continued walking through the home and talking to Wesley, complimenting his work, Edward heard the voice a few more times. When they were near the backdoor again, they heard what sounded like someone outside the door. Unable to open the door because it's always locked, they went outside and saw that the other group was still in the Trapper's Cabin and no one else was anywhere near the home.
As this group left the Hodge house, Edward picked up an EVP that seemed to say Hello.
The Smith House
The Smith House on the Devore Farm is where Becky, Christina, and Edward started the evening. Becky felt they were being watched as soon as she entered the farmhouse. It is possible they were being watched as both the front and back doors were propped open. However, when she checked the area for animals using her thermal imaging infrared camera, the farmhouse was clear. Becky stepped outside to scan the area near the house for animals and immediately noticed the buildings were very warm. Inside the farmhouse, it was also quite warm, even though the outside of the home was cold.
When Edward and Christina came out to look at Becky's camera to see what she was talking about, Christina thought she saw movement in the house where they had just exited. Becky then pointed her thermal imaging infrared camera at the door opening and saw thermal movement inside the house. Edward re-entered the building and found nothing. They don't know if we left behind some heat artifact, but it moved as if it was a person.
While walking into the barn, Edward's recorder picked up a strange, almost artificial-sounding voice. He also picked up an EVP that seemed to be coming from the barn area when Becky was doing a "soup call."
While the other group was in this building at the end of the evening, the only thing of note was Sarah thought she heard the doorknob on the door to the stairs move and perhaps movement upstairs. The door leading upstairs was locked, so no one was up there, but we could not check to see what may have caused the sound.
The Empire Hall Theater
The Empire Hall Theater was the one building the entire Team investigated together, and we spent most of our time there. The first thing of note that happened was when Becky, Christina, and Edward were walking back to the Saloon to regroup and change locations, they encountered Jacky, the director at Cowtown, and two of her friends walking their dogs. Jacky told them that after she left our group that evening, she stopped in the Empire House Theater and, while there, a small red bead was thrown at her, and she also witnessed a chair moving. She called her friends to join her as a backup. Becky, Christina, and Edward joined the three of them (and their dogs) and returned to the Theater.
Nothing happened then, but she told us what she experienced and what others had reported there. She also noted that there are Raccoons in the ceiling, so scratching sounds are most likely raccoons. We later heard this scratching sound a couple of times while the whole Team was there. It was very easy to tell it was animals moving around.
After regrouping with the other group, the entire Team went back there. Becky set up her laser grid and a sound-activated light on the stage, and Sarah placed a motion-activated ball on a table.
Most of us saw shadow movement and heard some unexplained sounds. Most of the Team heard a sound coming from near the stage area at one point. This event was followed by Edward commenting that he saw movement in one of the rooms. Becky then commented, "We heard you threw something earlier," The motion-activated ball was triggered three times while everyone was seated. The nearest person was about 10 feet from the table the ball was on. There is a video of these occurrences. Unfortunately, it's hard to see the ball light up on the IR camera because there was a chair in the way. We later experimented to see how easy it was to make this ball go off by having Christina walk around the table. She could get the ball to move some by walking around the table, but it took physically touching it and pushing it with her hand to make it light up.
Aisling and Sarah both commented that they had pain in the back of their heads on the right side. The pain was described as a sharp, very focused pain and almost exactly the same spot. Both do suffer from migraines, but this was not like their normal migraine pain, which is in the front of their heads.
Edward also captured a couple of EVPS in this space, which is interesting. One is a whisper, and the other has a whimpering sound throughout. We are unable to understand what is being said in either.
Christina saw a light move in the Sheriff's Office near the rifle cabinet.
It's interesting that several people heard footsteps coming from the upstairs of the Murdock house while touring the space and while setting the equipment up. Everything seemed to have stopped as soon as we got equipment rolling. Overall everyone felt this was a very calm space and comfortable space.
And we must not forget our cat buddies for the night, Gill and Daisy. They helped keep us entertained when things were quiet.
The group enjoyed our time at Cowtown. We had interesting experiences and gathered some good evidence. We all hope to go back sometime in the future.
Old Cowtown Museum is an accredited history museum located in Wichita, Kansas, United States. It is located next to the Arkansas River in central Wichita. The Museum was established in 1952 and is one of the oldest open-air history museums in the central United States, with 54 historic and re-created buildings, including a period farm and out-buildings, situated on 23 acres of land off the original Chisholm Trail. Cowtown combines attraction, museum, living history site, and historic preservation project.
Old Cowtown Museum originally started as a shrine to the pioneers and founders of Wichita. It later reinvented itself around Hollywood's version of the Old West. After the end of the Hollywood western, it reinvented itself around Wichita's agricultural history. Old Cowtown Museum is a nationally recognized and accredited living history museum. A product of 1950s Old West nostalgia, it has become one of the most beloved of all of Wichita's museums and institutions.